David Cameron plans first major reshuffle
"For years the West has been written off. People say that we are facing some sort of inevitable decline. They say we can't make anything any more," David Cameron will say in a speech in Davos, Switzerland at the World Economic Reform (WEF)

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron has pledged to repatriate thousands of jobs from low-cost countries in Asia back into the UK as the nation steps up its effort to develop its infant shale gas industry.

In a speech that he will deliver at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Cameron will tell delegates that shale gas, which uses the controversial method of extraction – dubbed fracking - as well as cuts in business tax and regulatory red tape will attract companies back to the country.

"For years the West has been written off. People say that we are facing some sort of inevitable decline. They say we can't make anything any more," Cameron will say in a speech.

"Whether it's the shift from manufacturing to services or the transfer from manual jobs to machines, the end point is the same dystopian vision - the East wins while the West loses; and the workers lose while the machines win.

"I don't believe it has to be this way. Of course, we cannot be starry eyed about globalisation - it presents huge challenges as our economies and societies try to adapt. But neither should we take this pessimistic view.

"Indeed if we make the right decisions, we may also see more of what has been a small but discernible trend where some jobs that were once offshored are coming back from East to West.

In 2013, Conservative MP Dan Byles told IBTimes UK that the shale gas industry could produce 30,000 jobs in total.

Meanwhile, according to UK Treasury figures, around 1,500 manufacturing jobs have already returned to Britain since 2011, following the development of shale gas industry.

"There is no doubt that when it comes to re-shoring in the US, one of the most important factors has been the development of shale gas which is flooring US energy prices with billions of dollars of energy cost savings predicted over the next decade," Cameron said.

"Taken together, I believe these trends have the ability to be a fresh driver of growth in Europe too. I want Britain to seize these opportunities. I think there is a chance for Britain to become the 're-shore nation'."

Last month, Cameron sent a letter to Europe, warning officials not to shackle the continent's emerging shale gas industry with new regulations, despite public concern about the controversial fracking process used to extract the resource.

Cameron wrote to European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso ahead of a package of EU analysis and proposals on energy due to be published in early 2014.

The prime minister is keen to unlock the potential of the shale industry in the UK after vast reserves of the unconventional gas were confirmed to exist underneath parts of Lancashire and Yorkshire.

Meanwhile, to soften development concerns, Cameron promised that councils in England will earn millions of pounds in fracking taxes from the controversial shale gas projects.

Cameron said under new rules, councils would retain 100% of the business rates collected from fracking schemes instead of the usual 50%, as part of the government's "all out" push to boost the exploitation of shale gas.